Wattamolla Beach, Waterfall and Lagoon in the Royal National Park
Wattamolla Beach, and its lagoon, waterfall, picnic area and lookout, is a beautiful spot in the Royal National Park to spend a relaxing day out and about.
Located in the middle of the famous Royal Coastal Walk (aka the Coast Track) and only 50 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, Wattamolla Beach truly is an oasis of natural beauty.
In the Royal National Park, turn into Wattamolla Road from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and follow to the parking areas. Summer days are busy so make sure you get there early. Wattamolla is open to visitors between 7:00am and 8:30pm daily. There is a $12 entrance fee to the Royal National Park.
The name “Wattamolla” is an Aboriginal name and means “place near running water”. It was first discovered in 1796 by Matthew flinders, an English navigator and cartographer.
Wattamolla Falls is the perfect spot to start your day in Wattamolla, as it’s literally right next to the parking area. The top of the waterfall is fenced off and jumping from the top of the waterfall into the lagoon is prohibited. Even though I don’t recommend jumping off, on a warm day the temptation is definitely hard to resist.
The fencing above the waterfall isn’t very challenging by any means, and watching the many daredevils jumping off the cliff can be quite an interesting spectacle.
Please be mindful though that jumping has been made illegal for good reasons. Although it may look safe, the depth of the water can be easily misjudged.
The views from the top of the waterfall over the lagoon and the ocean in the distance are pretty impressive. It gives you a good sense of how special this part of the Royal National Park really is.
If you feel like a bit of hiking, you can do a section of the Royal Coast Track from here, heading north towards the Wattamolla Creek Dam which is about 400 metres away.
You could hike even further north, all the way to Marley Beach via the Marley Track. This beach is a couple of hours away so make sure you plan your day in advance if you want to do some serious hiking.
From the waterfall and the parking area, head towards the path that leads to the lagoon and the beach. Once on the track, you’ll soon have the option to turn left into a little road with boat ramp that has access to the lagoon. From here you can enjoy great views of the waterfall and watch people jump off the cliff.
As the water in the lagoon is so calm, it’s the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, liloing or kayaking. To get to the other side of the lagoon, you can either swim across or go around via Wattamolla Beach.
To get to Wattamolla Beach, simply follow the convenient boardwalk that runs parallel to the lagoon. It’s a short and easy 350 metre bushwalk that guides you to the south end of the beach.
With the ocean in front of you and the lagoon and waterfall behind you, it does feel like you’ve just ended up in a small piece of paradise.
There are no surf life savers here but the water is usually very calm and safe to swim. It’s recommended though that children swim in the calmer waters of the lagoon.
Providential Point Lookout
Once you’ve had enough relaxing time at the beach or in the lagoon, it is well worth following the very short walking trail up the hill towards the Wattamolla lookout, officially known as the Providential Point Lookout.
About 35 metres from Wattamolla beach, there is an intersection where you can choose to either go straight to the beach or go up to visit the lookout. It’s an easy 350 metres from this intersection to Providential Point Lookout and the views across the Pacific Ocean make it very much worthwhile.
The lookout has a small fenced viewing area and it’s great to just hang out there for some time to soak up the fresh air and the panoramic views. The large cliffs on both sides of the fenced cliff edge are very impressive.
The lookout is also accessible from the northern end of the large picnic area, close to the car park.
The Wattamolla picnic area is actually quite impressive with several BBQ’s and covered and uncovered tables spread across a large field. There’s also a large toilet block as well as bins and running water. A great spot to have a break from all the swimming and hiking, and to enjoy a nice lunch in the outdoors.
The picnic area is conveniently located next to the parking bays. In summer weekends this area can fill up quickly so it’s best to come in early.
Two large parking areas are available right at the end of Wattamolla Road. From there it’s only 400 metres to Wattamolla Beach, and only a few steps to the waterfall, the lagoon and the picnic area. The official Wattamolla Beach address is: Little Marley Fire Trail, Wollongong Regional Districts NSW 2233.